UPDATE: 6 Noordhoek beached whales die

Six of the 19 Pilot whales that were washed ashore at Noordhoek beach have died.

Volunteers drape wet towels over one of the 19 beached pilot whales at Noordhoek beach in Cape Town on 24 March 2013. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Sunday it is assessing the condition of the surviving whales that beached at Noordhoek in Cape Town.

Six of the 19 whales have already died.

While there has been talk that most of the surviving whales may have to be put down the institute's Craig Lambinon said he remains hopeful.

"We are going to attempt to move those six to Simonstown Naval Base where the navy with hopefully be able to take them out to sea and drop them off."

Lambinon has urged capetonians to refrain from visiting beaches at Kommetjie and Noordhoek.

He said volunteers and rescue officials need easy access to try and save the animals.

"Time is against us so we are looking at other options for some of those that we know are are suffering."

Cape Town disaster management said waste removal teams are busy removing several pilot whale carcasses off Noordhoek beach.

Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said officials are still assessing the situation.

"The city's solid waste management department is in the process of lifting the carcasses which will be taken to the Vissershok Landfill site and be disposed of."

The city said it's unfortunate but it's a natural phenomenon which occurs all over the world.